Where To Go On Safari In September

Our Recommendation For The Best Holiday Destinations In September:

Countries to visit in September: Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia 


September is an ideal time for game spotting, as the dry season attracts a lot of wildlife around remaining water sources so you know where to head to view wildlife. Check out our safari guide, Tanzania Safaris: North vs South, to find out more about the more popular northern circuit, where you can witness the great migration during river crossings in the Lamai/Kogatende region of the Serengeti National Park as the herds head back to Tanzania from Kenya. Alternatively, venture off the beaten track and discover Tanzania’s hidden gems for an unforgettable safari adventure such as Ruaha National Park, Katavi National Park or Selous Game Reserve, or head to the Mahale Mountains where you can trek to find chimpanzees. 

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The iconic migration of wildebeest is starting to leave the Masai Mara during September, having exhausted the lush vegetation here, and head back to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, facing a treacherous crossing of the Mara River en route. Alternatively, head for less crowded destinations such as Laikipia National Park, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Samburu National Park, for excellent game viewing opportunities. Conditions are mostly clear in September, so it’s a great time for wildlife photography. Like Tanzania, September is the tail end of the peak season, and although not as busy as July and August, it is advisable to book accommodation in advance.

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Experience Botswana’s diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes during the dry month of September, prime safari season, when there are great concentrations of game around the major water sources, which include the spectacular Okavango Delta and beautiful Chobe River. An excellent way to explore the Okavango Delta and spot animals is by mokoro – gliding through the scenic waterways as a poler steers the mokoro, you can silently watch wildlife as it comes down for a drink. Head to Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve and Linyanti Wildlife Reserve to witness large herds of elephants and much more.

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South Africa

September marks the end of South Africa’s dry season, making it an ideal time for wildlife viewing as animals are easier to spot due to the dried-out vegetation, before the rain arrives making it thick and lush again. Premier parks to visit include Kruger National Park, Addo Elephant National Park, Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Park and Marakele National Park. If you visit Kalahari Game Reserve, you may be lucky and spot the renowned black-maned lions.

At this time of year, don’t miss the opportunity to see the vibrant wildflowers in Namaqualand in the Western Cape, and watch southern right and humpback whales along the south coast from Cape Town to Mossel Bay. Explore the Garden Route and visit Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and the Cango Caves along the way. Why not combine these scenic destinations with wildlife hotspots for an unforgettable South African adventure.

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Despite the onset of long rains, September is still an excellent time to view wildlife in Uganda, including the chance to spot newborn animals. The rains also herald the return of thousands of tropical butterflies. Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks are great game drive destinations as it is easier to spot the animals in the sparse vegetation. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park will have some rainfall, but gorilla treks are still possible. Visitors should prepare for wet terrain and ensure they have appropriate footwear and clothing. It is peak season, so demand and prices are high and availability is low – book your safaris early.

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September is an ideal time to visit Rwanda’s top wildlife destinations, including Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe National Park. Akagera is the largest protected wetland with a diverse ecosystem and offers an exceptional opportunity to view predators such as lion, hyena, leopard, and jackal. Volcanoes National Park is perfect for gorilla tracking, hiking, and visiting the ancient volcanoes, while Nyungwe National Park has one of the oldest and most stunning rainforests in Africa, with chimpanzees and 12 other primates.  The annual gorilla-naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, takes place in September to celebrate all the newborn mountain gorillas.

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September is a great time to go on a safari in Namibia as the weather is generally mild and the wildlife viewing opportunities are at their peak. One of the top destinations is Etosha National Park, which boasts a superb array of wildlife including lions, elephants, giraffes, and numerous bird species. Another great option is the Skeleton Coast, where you can witness the dramatic contrast of the barren desert against the ocean. You may even spot unique wildlife such as desert-adapted elephants and lions. For a more remote and exclusive experience, consider visiting the Kunene region, where you can go on guided tours to see desert-adapted rhinos and meet with the Himba people.

In Namibia, September is an ideal time to visit Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert, before the temperature starts to rise. Head south to the Fish River Canyon for stunning views of the largest canyon in Africa while the beautiful and wild Damaraland always delivers great wildlife sightings amidst stunning landscapes.

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September is a peak travel month to go on a safari in Zimbabwe when you can enjoy cool, dry weather before the temperatures start rising in October and November.  One of the top places to visit in September is Hwange National Park, which is renowned for its large population of elephants, as well as lions, leopards, and buffalo. In the north of the country  Mana Pools National Park is known for its stunning landscapes and excellent opportunities for walking safaris. For a more off-the-beaten-path experience, consider visiting the lesser-known Gonarezhou National Park, which boasts diverse wildlife and spectacular scenery.

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Wildlife viewing in Zambia during September is exceptionally good. The birds are out in force with spectacular numbers of carmine bee-eaters making their nest in the river banks. One of the top destinations to consider is South Luangwa National Park, which is famous for its walking safaris and excellent opportunities to spot leopards, lions, and elephants. There are vast pods of hippo wallowing in the river beds of the Luangwa River. The beautiful Lower Zambezi National Park offers game drives, boat safaris and fishing excursions along the Zambezi River. 

For a more remote and exclusive experience, consider visiting Liuwa Plains National Park, where you can witness the second-largest wildebeest migration in Africa. Any visit to Zambia should also include a stopover in Livingstone to see the mighty Victoria Falls, and September is a great month to do so, with the water flowing on both the Zimbabwean and Zambian sides. It is peak season, so it is essential to plan ahead and book your safari early.

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Planning a once-in-a-lifetime African safari?

Our in-country experts will give you the best travel advice and assist you in creating your perfect safari.

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